Swansea is the hub for Wales International Festival of Entrepreneurship

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From pop-up stalls in Swansea market to gatherings of international experts, Swansea will be a major hub for entrepreneurial activity from 19 to 23 May, as the Wales International Festival of Entrepreneurship takes place in the city.

Internat Fest of Entrepreneurship logoThe Festival will be a celebration of successful entrepreneurship in Wales, as well as an opportunity to encourage ideas about making people and organisations more entrepreneurial, to try and get good business ideas off the ground.  

The Festival is run by a partnership of organisations, chaired by Swansea University.  

‌From government level to street level, and from schoolchildren to academics, the wide range of activities in the Festival programme illustrates its key aim, which is to show that being entrepreneurial is for everyone.   

Highlights of the week include:

•    Pop-up Swansea - new start-ups will be able to use key city centre locations, thanks to the City and County of Swansea, to come and sell their wares, to have a go at enterprise and find new customers

•    A UK-EU Forum on “Developing the Entrepreneurial University” - hosted by Swansea University, this will feature international experts, including the Director General for Education and Culture in the European Commission.

•    The Young Business Dragons Launch – hosted by the Regional Entrepreneurship Partnership at the Marriott Hotel, Swansea.

•    The first UNESCO Symposium on the Entrepreneurial Learning City will take place at Swansea University, with world-leading thinkers.

•    A Policy Roundtable with LEAD Wales businesses and the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, Peter Davies, to discuss how we create a more entrepreneurial Wales.

200 x 150Professor Paul Hannon (pictured) of Swansea University, head of the Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership, who is co-ordinating the partnership that runs the Festival, said:

"The key question is how to do we develop a more entrepreneurial culture.   We’ve got to get people and organisations to be more entrepreneurial in the way they think and behave.

We’re keen to show that entrepreneurship is for everyone, not just a few.  That’s why the Festival has something for everyone:  start-ups, schoolchildren, students, researchers, teachers and policymakers.

Entrepreneurship still isn’t as visible as it should be.  We have programmes like Dragon’s Den and high-profile people like Richard Branson, but we also need to celebrate local people and businesses who are using their entrepreneurial skills, helping to create jobs and build the economy." 

Terry Matthews and Mango BikesPicture:  Entrepreneurship in action: Sir Terry Matthews, Swansea graduate and entrepreneur, with former Swansea students Jez and Ben, who set up the award-winning Mango Bikes, pictured with Swansea University Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Hilary Lappin-Scott

Festival Partners

Coordinating partners:

  • Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Swansea University (Festival Chair)
  • The Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • Gower College, Swansea
  • City and County of Swansea
  • Clockwork Bear


International partners:

  • EU Directorate General for Education and Culture
  • OECD
  • Government of Malaysia

Private sector partners:

  • TechHub Swansea
  • Indycube
  • Ti a Dy Deip
  • Prince’s Trust

Public sector partners:

  • Welsh Government
  • City and County of Swansea
  • Swansea BID
  • Leading Growth Programme
  • Creative Bubble
  • National CPD Hub
  • Technocamps
  • Regional Learning Partnership

Academic Partners:

  • Swansea University
  • Academi Hywel Teifi
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • Gower College, Swansea
  • Entrepreneurship Academy Wales
  • Bangor University